Thursday, March 19, 2015

The General

I can scratch another of AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies off my list, which I suppose isn't that great an accomplishment, but whatever. I've seen 81, but I'm being very critical, so that if I can't remember watching it, then it isn't counted. I know with absolute certainty that I've never seen Grapes Of Wrath, Best Years Of Our Lives, Dr. Zhivago, Birth Of A Nation, Intolerance, In The Heat Of The Night, Mutiny On The Bounty, Patton, The Jazz Singer, Swing Time, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. I'm a little foggy on Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, and Spartacus. I've seen part of Some Like It Hot and From Here To Eternity.

Anyway, I watched The General, and it's the story of a train conductor who tries to enlist when civil war breaks out, but he's rejected. The Union army steals his locomotive, and kidnaps the girl he loves.  Filled with thrilling stunts, brilliant choreography, beautiful cinematography, and Buster Keaton's amazing athleticism and deadpan comic timing, The General is simply one of the greatest films ever made. I gasped in awe several times, and I only wish I hadn't waited so long to see it.

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